The Coronation, The Royal Family and Racism
Scattered thoughts on the legacy of empire (and that documentary)
As I write this, I’ve just seen a few highlights of the coronation of King Charles III. I didn’t watch the whole thing. As we Brits say, I wasn’t that fussed. While the pomp and circumstance were certainly eye-catching, I found myself musing on the need for and role of a royal family in 2023. It seems anachronistic, and the ostentatious display of stolen wealth - because a lot of that gold and those jewels came from far flung previously colonised places - seemed out of touch. Isvari Maranwe expressed some of that in a recent LinkedIn post.
The event also made me look again at some thoughts and questions I’d jotted down about the British monarchy and racism when watching the Harry and Meghan documentary. These never turned into an article, but I share them here for what they’re worth:
On racism denial
Are some people’s reasons for denying racism targeting Meghan and her children rooted in anti-Blackness and colorism?
Is the royal family immune from criticism just because it’s an ancient institution?
If Harry hadn’t been a prince of the realm but simply a man doing what’s best for his family in the face of entrenched racism, wouldn’t people be cheering him on?
Nobody wants to experience racism. People who report it aren’t generally inventing it. It’s a real thing with real harm.
Just because some folx can’t see the racism doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Financial privilege and status don’t exempt you from racism - just look at how other famous Black people are treated when they fail to live up to (white) expectations.